Weaving Up a Storm

I’m having trouble finding a contractor to build my new art studio, and in the meantime I don’t have a place to paint. Evidently it’s the busy time of year for contractors, and I haven’t found one who’s available right now. I realized it’s an opportunity to do some weaving, and I can warp my rigid heddle loom using two tables set up in the driveway. No studio space required!

I joined a rigid heddle loom study group, an offshoot of the Ventura County Handweavers and Spinners Guild, and our project for this month is to weave a scarf. I thought I would explore an asymmetrical Burberry type of plaid, using cotton yarns that I dyed with natural dyes made from plants.

Weaving on Rigid Heddle Loom

The warp is measured by the distance between the two tables, in this case, about six feet, for a six-foot scarf. Actually it’s a little more than six feet, because there’s some waste at both ends of the warp, where the yarn is tied onto the front and back beams of the loom.

Weaving on Rigid Heddle Loom

First the yarn is looped onto the back beam and threaded through the slots of the reed. Then every other thread is pulled through the holes in the reed using a heddle hook. This gives an over-and-under basket weave pattern.

Weaving on Rigid Heddle Loom

The yarn is then tied onto the front beam.

Weaving on Rigid Heddle Loom

Weaving on Rigid Heddle Loom

I use kraft paper to weave the first six inches or so, to allow for fringe.

Weaving on Rigid Heddle Loom

And I’m ready to start weaving!

Weaving on Rigid Heddle Loom

So if you know of any good contractors in the Ventura area who are available, let me know. Right now it’s looking like it could be a several month wait, and I’d like to get the studio built before the rain starts and ruins everything I have stored in the garage. IF the rain starts! We should be so lucky, right!

2 Responses to Weaving Up a Storm

  1. Renee Rohloff July 22, 2014 at 11:28 pm #

    Your talents are in many areas…I see! Can’t wait to see the scarf when completed! Missing your art work photos! I am hoping a contractor becomes available for you soon. I have a long time friend in San Diego who is a realtor and I will inquire if he knows any contractors in the Ventura area or a contractor who is available. I am in New Jersey…so when do the rains start for you? I will let you know what he says. Best to you always!


    • Cassandra Tondro July 23, 2014 at 8:23 am #

      Thank you so much, Renee! I’ll take any contractor leads I can get. The rains usually start in November, which is a ways off, but it takes 6-8 weeks to get a permit from the city to build, and I have to have plans drawn up before that. So I’m pushing the envelope!

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